Truckline Cafe was the title of a 1946 Broadway play written by Maxwell Anderson, directed by Harold Clurman, produced by Elia Kazan, and starring Marlon Brando and Karl Malden. The short-lived play ran only 10 performances and is best remembered today for the fact that each night Brando would run up and down a flight of stairs prior to an entrance to induce an effectively frenzied demeanor for one of the scenes. The cast also included David Manners, to whom Brando has attributed much of his subsequent success[ citation needed ], and Kevin McCarthy. The play is noted for Brando's first major appearance on Broadway, during which he garnered attention for an unusually intense performance which presaged his later work on A Streetcar Named Desire . Truckline Cafe is also notable for being the first collaboration between Brando and Kazan, who later made A Streetcar Named Desire , Viva Zapata , and On the Waterfront together. The play also remains notable for being the first time Brando and Malden worked together, prior to co-starring in A Streetcar Named Desire, On the Waterfront, and One Eyed Jacks .
From the May 1, 2007 issue of Slate Magazine , Troy Patterson notes in a review of a Turner Classic Movies documentary about Brando:
The film spends a happily ample sum of time on Truckline Café, which was Brando's Broadway breakthrough, and contextualizes the triumph of Streetcar better than Brando's own autobiography.
From the July 7–13, 2004 edition of The Villager:
In “Broadway: The Golden Age,” a stirring documentary film by Rick McKay, that fine actor Charles Durning says of his first sight of Brando (in “Truckline Cafe”): “I thought [he was a] guy they pulled in off the street. Too good to be an actor.”
Time Magazine reported that the reviews were so lacerating (the New York Daily News' John Chapman called it "the worst play I have seen since I have been in the reviewing business") that Clurman and Kazan took out an ad in the New York Times stating in part:
"Our theater is strangled in a bottleneck . . . made up of a group of men who are hired to report the events of our stage and who more and more are acquiring powers which, as a group, they are not qualified to exercise — either by their training or their taste. . . . No opposition point of view is ever expressed. There is a blackout of all taste except the taste of these men."
Meanwhile, playwright Anderson mounted an ad in the New York Herald Tribune :
"It is an insult to our theater that there should be so many incompetents and irresponsibles among [the reviewers]. ... Of late years all plays are passed on largely by a sort of Jukes family of journalism."
Marlon Brando Jr. was an American actor. Considered one of the most influential actors of the 20th century, he received numerous accolades throughout his career, which spanned six decades, including two Academy Awards, two Golden Globe Awards, one Cannes Film Festival Award and three British Academy Film Awards. Brando was also an activist for many causes, notably the civil rights movement and various Native American movements. Having studied with Stella Adler in the 1940s, he is credited with being one of the first actors to bring the Stanislavski system of acting, and method acting, to mainstream audiences.
On the Waterfront is a 1954 American crime drama film, directed by Elia Kazan and written by Budd Schulberg. It stars Marlon Brando and features Karl Malden, Lee J. Cobb, Rod Steiger, Pat Henning, and Eva Marie Saint in her film debut. The musical score was composed by Leonard Bernstein. The film was inspired by "Crime on the Waterfront" by Malcolm Johnson, a series of articles published in November–December 1948 in the New York Sun which won the 1949 Pulitzer Prize for Local Reporting, but the screenplay by Budd Schulberg is directly based on his own original story. The film focuses on union violence and corruption amongst longshoremen, while detailing widespread corruption, extortion, and racketeering on the waterfronts of Hoboken, New Jersey.
A Streetcar Named Desire is a play written by Tennessee Williams and first performed on Broadway on December 3, 1947. The play dramatizes the experiences of Blanche DuBois, a former Southern belle who, after encountering a series of personal losses, leaves her once-prosperous situation to move into a shabby apartment in New Orleans rented by her younger sister and brother-in-law.
Elia Kazan was an American film and theatre director, producer, screenwriter and actor, described by The New York Times as "one of the most honored and influential directors in Broadway and Hollywood history".
Kim Hunter was an American theatre, film, and television actress. She achieved prominence for portraying Stella Kowalski in the original production of Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire, which she reprised for the 1951 film adaptation, and won both an Academy Award and a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress.
Eva Marie Saint is an American actress of film, theatre and television. In a career spanning over 70 years, she has won an Academy Award and a Primetime Emmy Award, alongside nominations for a Golden Globe Award and two British Academy Film Awards. Upon the deaths of Olivia de Havilland in 2020 and Angela Lansbury in 2022, Saint became the oldest living and later earliest surviving winner of an Academy Award, and one of the last surviving stars from the Golden Age of Hollywood cinema.
Karl Malden was an American actor. He was primarily a character actor, who according to Robert Berkvist, "for more than 60 years brought an intelligent intensity and a homespun authenticity to roles in theater, film, and television", especially in such classic films as A Streetcar Named Desire (1951), for which he won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, On the Waterfront (1954), Pollyanna (1960), and One-Eyed Jacks (1961). Malden also played in high-profile Hollywood films such as Baby Doll (1956), The Hanging Tree (1959), How the West Was Won (1962), Gypsy (1962), and Patton (1970).
Uta Thyra Hagen was a German-American actress and theatre practitioner. She originated the role of Martha in the 1962 Broadway premiere of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? by Edward Albee, who called her "a profoundly truthful actress." Because Hagen was on the Hollywood blacklist, in part because of her association with Paul Robeson, her film opportunities dwindled and she focused her career on New York theatre.
Lee Strasberg was an American theatre director, actor and acting teacher. He co-founded, with theatre directors Harold Clurman and Cheryl Crawford, the Group Theatre in 1931, which was hailed as "America's first true theatrical collective". In 1951, he became director of the nonprofit Actors Studio in New York City, considered "the nation's most prestigious acting school," and, in 1966, was involved in the creation of Actors Studio West in Los Angeles.
Stella Adler was an American actress and acting teacher. She founded the Stella Adler Studio of Acting in New York City in 1949. Later in life she taught part time in Los Angeles, with the assistance of her protégée, actress Joanne Linville, who continued to teach Adler's technique. Her grandson Tom Oppenheim now runs the school in New York City, which has produced alumni such as Marlon Brando, Robert De Niro, Harvey Keitel, Elaine Stritch, Kate Mulgrew, Kipp Hamilton, Jenny Lumet, and Jeff Celentano.
Harold Edgar Clurman was an American theatre director and drama critic. In 2003, he was named one of the most influential figures in U.S. theater by PBS. He was one of the three founders of New York City's Group Theatre (1931–1941). He directed more than 40 plays in his career and, during the 1950s, was nominated for a Tony Award as director for several productions. In addition to his directing career, he was drama critic for The New Republic (1948–1952) and The Nation (1953–1980), helping shape American theater by writing about it. Clurman wrote seven books about the theatre, including his memoir The Fervent Years: The Group Theatre and the Thirties (1961).
Blanche DuBois is a fictional character in Tennessee Williams' 1947 Pulitzer Prize-winning play A Streetcar Named Desire. The character was written for Tallulah Bankhead and made popular to later audiences with Elia Kazan's 1951 film adaptation of Williams' play; A Streetcar Named Desire, starring Vivien Leigh and Marlon Brando.
Julius Caesar is a 1953 American film adaptation of the Shakespearean play, directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz and produced by John Houseman for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. It stars Marlon Brando as Mark Antony, James Mason as Brutus, John Gielgud as Cassius, Louis Calhern as Caesar, Edmond O'Brien as Casca, Greer Garson as Calpurnia, and Deborah Kerr as Portia.
Jocelyn Brando was an American actress and writer. She is best known for her role as Katie Bannion in the film noir The Big Heat (1953).
A Streetcar Named Desire is a 1951 American Southern Gothic drama film, adapted from Tennessee Williams's Pulitzer Prize-winning play of the same name. It is directed by Elia Kazan, and stars Vivien Leigh, Marlon Brando, Kim Hunter, and Karl Malden. The film tells the story of a Mississippi Southern belle, Blanche DuBois, who, after encountering a series of personal losses, seeks refuge with her sister and brother-in-law in a dilapidated New Orleans apartment building. The original Broadway production and cast was converted to film, albeit with several changes and sanitizations related to censorship.
Robert Lewis was an American actor, director, teacher, author and founder of the influential Actors Studio in New York in 1947.
Virginia Gilmore was an American film, stage, and television actress.
A Flag Is Born is a 1946 play that advocated the creation of a homeland for the Jewish people in the ancient Land of Israel—at the time of the play's release Mandatory Palestine, under British administration. With a cast including Paul Muni, Celia Adler and Marlon Brando, it opened on Broadway on September 4, 1946. It was written by Ben Hecht and directed by Luther Adler, with music by Kurt Weill. A Flag Is Born was produced by the American League for a Free Palestine, an organization headed by Hillel Kook, to raise money for Zionist causes.
ThePlaywrights Company (1938–1960) was an American theatrical production company.
Carmelita Pope was an American actress of stage and screen.